Aug

25

Backsliding

It’s amazing how much can change in so little of time.   I had a whole 2 months of hope.  2 months of feeling I am on my way towards a better life for myself and my family. Then it was gone. No warning. No chance to brace myself or my family.

In April I had found a moment of energy that pushed me to getting things in order.  I busted my butt, and got the house clean, I mean REALLY clean.  Not just straightened up and things thrown in the random corners. It felt nice. It inspired me. I started making goals of all the things I wanted to do in our house. All the things I have put off for 2 years since moving into our house.  I wanted to decorate and make the place a home. I didn’t want that work to be in vain so I maintained it, and it was easy.  The kids were willing to help me, to do their chores with no complaining because it was “doable”. The attitude in the home switched.  Dinners became easier.  Cleaning up as we lived was easier. We started doing more together, the kids would rather play a family board game than watch TV. I even felt motivated to blog, I felt hope and couldn’t work on my old drafts that felt, for lack of a better word, depressing.  I thought this was what I was waiting for. Maybe things will be different now. I was wrong.

Within a blink of an eye I lost it and couldn’t get it back. The motivation, the joy and pride, gone.  I had hit a wall and couldn’t recover.

My cousin was getting married and with only a week left before her wedding my Mother informs me she needs help.  She has no decorations, no one helping nor even really supporting this wedding.  My Mom just wanted opinions and ideas but then she got some bad news. My Mom needed knee surgery and they could only get her in on the Friday (the day before the wedding when she was suppose to decorate and get things ready for the wedding).  So to help my mother and cousin I stepped up.  I took over the decorations and spent a whole lot of time and energy to get things perfect for my cousin’s wedding. I was exhausted.  It took a lot out of me. My cousin never even said thank you, which was surprisingly not a surprise.

As the reception ended I stayed after to clean up and realized my Mother who just had extensive knee surgery was going to be on her own in a very cluttery house (thanks to my father).  I knew she would not take the time she needed to rest her knee.  She would be getting up too often to make food and wouldn’t be able to escape the temptation to clean her house.  So I insisted on her staying at our house.  She was there for 1 1/2 weeks.  With me feeling drained it took all I had left in me to care for her and all of my routines that I had set up to keep the house clean went out the window.  I never recovered. The house never recovered. The burden and failure of being unable to maintain and stay on that positive road pushed me even further down into despair.  The temperature even changed, literally.  In Phoenix we had one of the coolest Mays we have ever had then suddenly in the last weekend of May we went from high 80s to the 100’s.  Trying to work and clean during the day sucks when it’s hot, then factoring in physical and emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation and disappointment, it’s nearly impossible.  I couldn’t do it.  I backslided into a puddle of quicksand. I couldn’t escape.  It feels like I never will.

I look back and think, “Why is this so hard? I did it before and thrived!” but then all those deep dark thoughts steep and stew in my mind and take up all the space in my brain.  All those little hidden pockets of dim hope have been blackened into a cancerous ooze.

It’s times like these that I get so angry.  Why is this my life? Why is this my lot? Why do I have to suffer so? Why does my family have to go through this? I want to give up.  However, I never could do that with a clear conscience. I suppose that’s a good thing. Right?

Sep

10

Distractions

When every thought brings guilt, sadness, pain, and tears, it becomes almost necessary to find distractions at any cost.  Everyone uses temporary distractions. I believe it’s only natural. The problem arises when your whole life is filled with nothing but distractions.

Lately, I have been worse than usual. I have had another medication change and life has been tough. I am having nothing but negative feelings. I have been defensive, impatient, critical, moody, angry, hopeless and just plain difficult.  The slightest thing sets me off and leaves me in a deep despair. I love my children but I haven’t been able to feel any joy around them. I feel angry at them for their behavior, followed by anger at myself for being the reason they behave that way.  I want nothing to do with them or anything else in my life and then I hate myself for thinking that way…

The only way to escape these feelings is to distract myself. With technology I have an automatic distraction built into my phone. I can easily put away hours upon hours on my smartphone, distancing myself from my family, life and most importantly, my mind.  Movies, TV, games, Facebook, Pinterest, music, crochet, theatre and sleep are my drugs of choice. I call it a drug because I can’t get enough. I have to up the usage to get the same effect. I can’t  JUST watch one show I have to watch several. I can’t even watch that show and be content.  I have to be playing a game, or pinning pins I will never use. I can’t just take a 15-minute nap. It has to be 2+ hours and the feeling of restfulness lasts for maybe 10 minutes before I feel helpless and resentful again.

Night time is the hardest. Reflecting on my day full of failures makes me want to lose myself in any way possible. Usually with Netflix and Pinterest. Then when I force myself to go to bed, I am not able to sleep. My thoughts run rampant so, I play on my phone until my mind and eyes are so strained and tired I have no time to think before I fall asleep.

Watching a show during the day for escape is impossible, it becomes too upsetting as moment after moment is interrupted by children. So I sit on the couch with my phone as they watch whatever they want for hours on end until it’s my youngest’s naptime and I can finally lay down and sleep. To escape reality. All the while, my 4-year-old is on his own with the TV. Again. The guilt of this is tremendous! I want him to do more, I want BE more but it all feels impossible. And when I try, I fail, or it exhausts me to my core. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to play with my children. Or how to be patient with them and it kills me.

The failing cycle continues as my husband comes home to a despondent wife, misbehaving children, a messy home and a life he didn’t sign up for. His exhausted despair fuels my need to be anywhere else than present.  I didn’t plan dinner, again. I didn’t put the laundry away that has been sitting on the couch for a week. I haven’t done the dishes for over 2 weeks, nor swept the floor in a month…

It’s no wonder he then distracts himself in his office with games and work and business meetings. Who would want to be around me? Who would even want to be around children who act like animals because I am failing them?

I am writing this at 4:30 in the morning, in my bed, on my cell phone.

I am writing this after spending about 4-5 hours watching TV and pinning what I wish my life was like what’s on Pinterest. Instead of doing anything remotely productive.

I am writing this after forcing myself to turn off the TV even though I really wanted to watch at least 2 more hours of shows.

I am writing this after getting in bed looking back on a day of absent mothering and feeling bricks of guilt being stacked on my chest so I can’t even breathe. Knowing how worthless I really am.

I am writing this laying next to my sleeping husband who saw I got to bed at 3 in the morning… Again. Who had disapproval and disdain reflected in his countenance towards me for this action.

I am writing this laying next to my husband who has barely spoken to me in 3 days.

I am writing this sobbing wondering how can I stop these thoughts in enough time to fall asleep and get up with my children in the morning. 

I am writing this knowing that this dreadful cycle will continue tomorrow. Only it will be worse because it’s the day Ryan works from home. It’s the day he sees how screwed up I really am. How much damage I am causing my children.

I am writing this wishing I could just hurt myself, to punish myself.

I am writing this wishing I was dead.

Because honestly, that would be the greatest distraction…

Jul

10

The convenience of not living.

The idea of taking one’s own life has the appearance of selfishness, cowardliness and is incomprehensible to most.  For someone struggling with depression, it can feel like the only option. In my own life, I have thought of suicide. I remember in 3rd grade being home with my brother on our 3rd story apartment balcony, standing on the ledge looking down at the hot Arizona rocks, thinking how easy it could be to jump.  A few years later holding a kitchen knife almost wishing I was brave enough to cut my wrists or stab myself in the gut.  As I got older the thought of ending my own life made me have many mixed emotions. Feelings fo relief at the thought of being free, no longer bullied, berated and abused but the overwhelming thing I felt was guilt.  How could I think of such a thing?  Imagine what it would do to my Mother?  And then, years later, how would my husband feel? And now, I couldn’t do that to my children?   They would think I didn’t love them, or worse, that they were responsible.  I could never risk that! Even if, in those moments, I truly feel like life would be better for them if I was gone.

So when I look at myself and my family and I imagine how much better off they would be without me, actual suicide does not linger in my mind.  No. Instead, it’s the, What if I got into a car accident? Or a building collapsed on me?  Or any other catastrophe I could think of… They couldn’t feel responsible then! And they would be free of me and all my faults. It would be a very convenient “tragedy”.  One that I some days hope for.  Contrary to what others may think, it doesn’t feel selfish.  It feels like a gift I could give them.  To no longer be in their lives, hurting them by my actions or inactions.  To save them from my own misery, so they could go about their lives and find the happiness that I am keeping from them. It’s a thought that comes and goes, but when it does come…it can be very hard to shake.